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Monday Oct 21 2019

Fazl, top JUI-F leaders may be detained if talks fail

Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: Following a high-level meeting, the government on Sunday decided in principal to prevent the sit-in (dharna) by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) in federal capital, even if it has to go for detention of top leadership of JUI-F, including its chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

“In case of breakdown in negotiation between the government and JUI-F, the law enforcement agencies will detain Maulana Fazlur Rehman with the key leadership of the party," sources told The News.

Also read: JUI-F cancels talks with government on Azadi March

“Maulana Fazlur Rehman could be detained well before the planned dharna scheduled on Oct 31,” highly placed sources in interior ministry said on the condition of anonymity.

The government has decided to detain Maulana, apprehending that the JUI-F would create unrest in the country under a hidden agenda, the source said. 

“Maulana Fazlur Rehman will be arrested during the last 4 days of October, preferably on Oct 26, because 25th will be Friday and the government will not take risk to arrest him on or before Jummatul Mubarak as JUI-F can use strength of mosques,” the sources maintained.

Also read: Opposition parties decide to join Maulana Fazl's Azadi March

“More or less 8 top leaders of JUI-F will be detained under 16 MPO for 30 to 90 days while the activists of the party will be arrested according to lists being prepared by the provincial and federal law enforcement agencies on the direction of the Ministry of Interior,” the source said.

Ban on supposedly militant wing of the JUI-F, ‘Ansar-ul-Islam’ will be put in place, probably, on October 26 if the Ministry of Interior approves the decision of taking legal action against ‘Ansar-ul-Islam’, the sources said.

Also read: Maulana Fazl rules out possibility of reconciliation with government

“Though, it will be multi-dimensional crackdown on the JUI-F at a time when the hierarchy of JUI-F has decided to go ahead with their planned march and ‘dharna’, the government has no alternative except to keep peace by using all resources, powers and options,” the sources maintained.

As part of the strategy, the mobile phone service would be suspended in specific areas, especially, in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KP) and partially in the Punjab during the crackdown on the JUI activists and leadership.  

Phone service would be suspended in federal capital territory after midnight of Oct 30 and would be restored late Thursday night (Oct 31). However, the administration will decide further course of action according to situation.